Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Gospel According to Chairs


Icon of Christ carrying His Cross in the Church of
Panagia Dexia, Thessaloniki, Greece





by Subdeacon Steve Robinson

"Subdeacon Steve Robinson uses chairs to illustrate the difference between penal-substitutionary atonement (PSA) and the Eastern Orthodox understanding of Christ's work on the cross.

PSA comes from a medieval thinker named Anselm of Canterbury (AD 1033-1109) and is the most widely accepted understanding among Catholics and Protestants of why Christ had to die. By contrast, in Eastern Orthodox Church thought, Christ's death is neither penal, nor is it substitutionary, nor is it even rightly called atonement.

That Christ's death is not penal is seen in Jn 3:16-17: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved."

That Christ's death is not substitutionary is seen in Ez 18:20: "The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him." So much for vicarious atonement and the related heresy of positional righteousness!

That Christ's death is not rightly called atonement is a mere case of semantic sleight of hand. "Atonement" means reparation for a wrong or an injury. If Christ's death is an "atonement," then it follows by definition that Christ is dying to make reparation for some wrong. But why should we allow the Anselm's followers to put the label "atonement" on Christ's death when the far more ancient term for it was "redemption"? To "redeem" is to rescue something from a state of sinfulness or its consequences. Thus, if we call Christ's death a redemption instead of an atonement, then PSA follows not at all." from the YouTube website


Further Reading:

The Orthodox Way of Salvation

The River of Fire

The Orthodox Understanding of Salvation

Friday, August 29, 2014

Glory to God for All Things!

Border Collie

Every time I see beauty in nature is as if I could hear
God asking me, "Do you like it? I made it for you!";
and the response of my heart is always the same,
"Glory to God for all things!


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Head, Heart, and Nous by Frederica Mathewes-Green

Entrance to the Monastery in Leilich, Serbia where
St Nikolai Velimirovich's relics are kept


Matushka Frederica makes some brilliant distinctions in this article. She masterfully explains some very subtle nuances in the understanding of the Fathers concerning the make up of man; head vs nous [also translated as intellect, mind (not to be confused with reason), that part of the soul which can have communion with God and can know God. Frederica makes a distinction between spiritual heart and feelings; between imagination and man's creative faculty.This is all very Patristic, and according to holy tradition and the scriptures.

M. Frederica writes;

"This concept of the nous, I would think would be important to Western Christians and to Evangelicals, because they do have this important role for God’s revelation, that there are things that we cannot learn by logic alone, there are things we can only learn because God reveals them. So therefore you need something more than a heart full of emotions and a head full of concepts. You need a receptive mind, a mind that can comprehend, and that would be the nous. It’s like a piece that is missing in our Western anthropology." Frederica Mathewes-Green

To read the article please go to Matushka Frederica's website
 here.

Posted with permission

Monday, August 25, 2014

How to See God - a Sermon by Fr Andrew S. Damick

Moses beholds the burning bush Source


"Fr. Andrew reflects on the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant
and how it reveals how we can see God and sense His Presence."
from the Ancient Faith Radio website.

Please click here to listen to this wonderful sermon.

Posted with permission from Fr Andrew S. Damick

Saturday, August 23, 2014

On Forgiveness by Fr Alexis Trader


Icon of Christ's Trial inside the 
Church of 
Panagia Dexia in Thessaloniki, Grecce


Fr Alexis Trader, an Athonite Hieromonk, in the
Monastery of Karakallou, has been publishing a 
series of post on forgiveness in his blog,

The articles on forgiveness are very comprehensive in 
their scope and practical application. This is Patristic
teaching at its bests. It will surely help many. Please
do not deprive yourself of something wonderful and
start following this series on forgiveness. 
There are 21 posts following 
this one, so far. If you
go to the home page of the blog you will see the last
or more recent one. To start from the beginning,
please go 
here. 

Below is the beginning of the first post,


"A New Blog Series on Forgiveness: Some
Preliminary Definitions
June 10, 2014 By fatheralexis


In a fallen world, no one escapes the bumps and bruises associated with our interactions with others. Sometimes, the cuts and scrapes form gaping holes that may leave us offended and wounded, hurt by angry words, callous actions, or selfish disregard. While we can confidently affirm that conflict is an inevitable, if not unfortunate part of human life, the aftermath of such often comes down to a choice between resentment and forgiveness. This new blog series will focus attention on the latter.

Forgiveness, or the lack thereof in ourselves or in others, is a subject that affects each of us, undoubtedly on a daily basis. Its role is so significant that psychologists and healthcare professionals over the past thirty years have begun studying what people of faith have known about for millennia, namely that forgiveness plays a powerful, therapeutic role in better physical and mental well-being. Of course, Christianity uses another language—the language of the heart, the language of brotherhood, and the language of God Himself—to speak about forgiveness, whereas psychology uses the terminology of science. Is there a meeting place between our forgiving our brothers and sisters from our hearts their trespasses against us (Matthew 18:35) and what psychologists are exploring today? That will be one of the questions this series will attempt to answer.

A starting point for that question would be to look at some definitions that psychologists propose for forgiveness. As Blake Riek and Eric W. Mania have noted in their article “The Antecedents and Consequences of Interpersonal Forgiveness: A Meta-Analytic Review,” there have been various opinions concerning an exact definition of the term. Yet, they do point out the definition put forth in 1997 by McCullough, Worthington, and Rachal: forgiveness is “a set of motivational changes whereby one becomes a) decreasingly motivated to retaliate against an offending relationship partner, b) decreasingly motivated to maintain estrangement from the offender, and c) increasingly motivated by conciliation and goodwill for the offender’” (pp. 321-22). In other words, forgiveness is about how we are moved with respect to someone else or a change in disposition in which the fight or flight impulse has weakened and an inclination towards meeting the person with kindness begins to grow stronger. There is a change in the will and a change in perspective that allows for a radically new and undeniably positive approach to someone else that is manifest in thoughts, emotions, and behavior. That this is something good, almost goes without saying."

Icon of St Innocent of Moscow (and of Alaska) Weeping Myrrh in Khabarovsk

I just read the following in Pravoslavie.ru. Could this be
a warning, not only to Russia but also to the United States?


"Khabarovsk, August 22, 2014

















On August 20, 2014, in the house church of the Khabarovsk Theological Seminary, the icon of this educational establishment’s patron-saint, Holy Hierarch Innocent of Moscow (Veniaminov; 1797-1879; a great missionary in Siberia and north America, later Metropolitan of Moscow) , began weeping myrrh, reports the Khabarovsk Diocese’s information department.

The unusual phenomenon was noticed by the seminary aspirants who came to take entrance examinations.

“The streaming myrrh was noticed by our seminary entrants who remained at the evening prayers. When we were informed about it, we saw drops on the eyes of the Holy Hierarch Innocent of Moscow and stains from them. This is an icon of our patron-saint so we performed a prayer service at once,” related the pro-rector of the Khabarovsk Theological Seminary Bishop Ephraim of Bikin. “When the icon was opened to make sure that it really was shedding myrrh, the church suddenly was filled with fragrant aroma. In order to document the fact that the icon started shedding myrrh, the seminary has drawn up a special record”.


 





The myrrh continued streaming on the following day as well. Big drops resembling tears were flowing down the saint’s image, accumulating at the bottom edge of the icon.

The complete article can be read here.

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Struggle for Virtue by Archbishop Averky

This book is available from Amazon

"Table of Contents
Preface
Introduction: The Essence and Meaning of Asceticism
1. Self-Asserting Pride and Christian Humility
2. The Importance of Spiritual Discernment
3. Gospel Love and Humanistic Altruism
4. Acquiring Gospel Love
5. Reawakening Our Conscience
6. The Christian Understanding of Freedom
7. Guarding the Heart Amidst the Distractions of Life
8. Resisting Evil
9. Waging Unseen Warfare
10. Christian Struggle
11. The Holy Fathers on Combating the Passions
12. Pastoral Asceticism
Notes
Subject Index
Scripture Index

Archbishop Averky is considered one of the great scholars of 20th-century Orthodoxy and this book brings to the English-speaking world his answer to the question “What is asceticism?” A bearer of the saving doctrine of the Patristic teaching, he steadfastly defended traditional Orthodoxy and passed on this teaching through his commentaries on Scripture and other works in the Russian language. In showing how evil is rooted out and virtue is implanted in the soul, Archbishop Averky counters the many false understandings that exist showing that the practice of authentic asceticism is integral to the spiritual life and the path to blessed communion with God." from the Amazon website
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  • A Commentary On The Divine Liturgy by St. Nicholas Cabasilas, ISBN: 0-913836-37-0
  • A Night in the Desert of the Holy Mountain by Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos Trans. by Effie Mavromichali, ISBN: 960-7070-31-3
  • A Spiritual Psalter or Reflections On God excerpted by St. Theophan the Recluse from the works of St. Ephraim the Syrian, Trans. by Antonina Janda, ISBN 0-912927-40-2
  • Against False Union ( with a prologue by Photios Kontoglou) by Alexander Kalomiros, Trans. by George Gabriel, ISBN: 0-913026-49-2
  • Akathist To Jesus Conqueror of Death, by St Nikolai Velimirovich, Trans. by Interklima, Copyright 2009, English Edition, by St Paisius Monastery, Safford, AZ
  • An Athonite Gerontikon by Archimandrite Ioannikios, Holy Monastery of St Gregory Palamas Kouphalia, Greece 1991
  • Byzantine Theology by John Meyendorff, ISBN: 0-8232-0967-9
  • Christ Our Way and Our Life by Archimandrite Zacharias Zacharou, ISBN 1-878997-74-2
  • Christ The Eternal Tao by Hieromonk Damascene, ISBN 0-938635-85-9
  • Commentary on The Gospel of St Luke by St Cyril of Alexandria Trans. by R.Payne Smith, Studion Publishers, Inc. ISBN:0-943670-01-2
  • Concerning Frequent Communion by Nikodemos the Hagiorite, Trans. by George Dokos, ISBN: 960-86778-5-8
  • Confronting Controlling Thoughts by Antony M. Coniaris, ISBN: ISBN: 1-880971-88-7
  • Conversations with Children by Sister Magdalen, ISBN: 1-874679-21-5
  • Counsels from the Holy Mountain by Elder Ephraim of Philotheou, ISBN: 0-9667000-2-3
  • Daily Readings with St. Isaac of Syria, Trans. by Sebastian Brock, ISBM: 0-87243-173-8
  • Dance, O Isaiah by Constantine Platis, unknown printing 2000
  • Diary Of A Pilgrimage from the Ancient Christian Writers series, by Egeria, Trans. by George E. Gingras, ISBN: 0-8091-0029-0
  • Drinking from the Hidden Fountain by Thomas Spidlik, ISBN: 0-87907-348-9
  • Elder Ephraim of Katounakia Trans by Tessy Vassiliaou-Christodoulou, ISBN: 960-7407-33-4
  • Elder Paisios of Mount Athos Spiritual Counsels, Spiritual Awakening vol 2, Trans by Fr. Peter Chamberas, Holy Monastery 'Evangelist John The Theologian' Souroti, Greece 2007
  • Elder Paisios of Mount Athos Spiritual Counsels, With Pain And Love for Contemporay Man vol1, Trans by Cornelia A. Tsakiridou & Maria Spanou, Holy Monastery 'Evangelist John The Theologian' Souroti, Greece 2006
  • Epistles by Elder Paisios of Mount Athos, Holy Monastery of the Evangelist John the Theologian, Souroti, Greece 2002
  • Father Arseny Trans. by Vera Bouteneff, ISBN 0-88141-180-9
  • Flame in the Snow, A Life of St Seraphim of Sarov by Julia de Beausobre, ISBN: 0-87243-223-8
  • From St. Isaac The Syrian to Dostoyevsky by Archimandrite Vasileios, Trans. by Dr.Elizabeth Theokritoff, ISBN: 1-896800-34-3
  • Grace For Grace: The Psalter And The Holy FathersCompiled and Edited by Johanna Manley, ISBN: 0-9622536-1-8
  • Hesychia and Theology by Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos, Trans. by Sister Pelagia Selfe, ISBN: 978-960-7070-60-9
  • His Life is Mine by Archimandrite Sophrony, ISBN: 0-913836-33-8
  • I Love Therefore I Am by Fr. Nicholas V. Sakharov, ISBN: 0-88141-236-8
  • In The Light of Christ, St Symeon The New Theologian by Archbishop Basil Krivocheine Trans. by Anthony P. Gythiel, ISBN 0-913836-91-5
  • Isaac of Ninaveh ( Isaac The Syrian) The Second Part, chapters IV-XLV, Trans. by Sebastian Brock, ISBN: 90-6831-709-1
  • Missionary Lettersof Saint Nikolai Velimirovich vol 1, Trans. by Hierodeacon Serafim, New Gracanica Monastery, Grayslake, IL
  • Monastic Wisdom, The Letters of Elder Joseph The Hesychast, ISBN: 0-9667000-0-7
  • Mount Athos Renewal in Paradise by Graham Speake, ISBN: 0-300-093535
  • Nil SorskyTrans. and Edited by George A. Maloney, ISBN: 0-8091-9810-7
  • Not of This World,Compiled and Edited by James S. Cutsinger, ISBN: 0-941532-41-0
  • On Prayer by Archimandrite Sophrony Sakharov Trans.by Rosemar Edmonds, ISBN 0-88141-194-9
  • On The Apostolic Preaching by St. Irenaeus of Lyons, Trans. by John Behr, ISBN: 0-88141-174-4
  • On The Cosmic Mystery of Jesus Christ by St Maximus The Confessor, Trans. by Paul M. Blowers & Robert Louis Wilken, ISBN: 0-88141-249-x
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  • On The Incarnation by St. Athanasius, ISBN: 0-913836-40-0
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  • Orthodox Faith and Life in Christ by Father Justin Popovich Trans. by Asterios Gerosterios, ISBN: 1-884729-02-9
  • Orthodox Psychotherapy by Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos, Trans. by Esther Williams, ISBN: 960-7070-27-5
  • Orthodox Spiritual Life According to Saint Silouan The Athonite by Harry Boosalis, ISBN: 1-878997-60-2
  • Orthodox Spirituality and The Philokalia by Placide Deseille Trans. by Anthon P. Gythiel, ISBN 978-0-9717483-7-8
  • Orthodox Spirituality by Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos, ISBN 960-7070-20-8
  • Passions and Virtues According to Saint Gregory Palamas by Anestis Keselopulos, ISBN: 1-878997-75-0
  • Patristic Theology by John S. Romanides, ISBN 978-960-86778-8-3
  • Prayers by the Lake by St Nikolai Velimirovich, The Serbian Orthodox Metropolinate of New Gracanica, Grayslake, IL 1999
  • Saint Cyril of Alexandria and the Christological Controversy by John McGuckin, ISBN: 0-88141-259-7
  • Santa Biblia Antigua Version de Casiodoro De Reina Revisada por Cipriano de Valera(1602) Revision de 1960, Holman Publishers 2008
  • St John of Damascus, The Fathers of the Church series, Trans. by Frederic H. Chase, Jr., ISBN: 0-8132-0968-4
  • St Seraphim of Sarov, A Spiritual Biography by Archimandrite Lazarus Moore, ISBN: 1-880364-13-1
  • St Silouan The Athonite by Archimandrite Sophrony, ISBN 0-88141-195-7
  • St. Symeon The New Theologian, On The Mystical Life, The Ethical Discourses, Trans. by Alexander Golitzin 3 vols. ISBN: 0-88141-142-6 and - 143-4, and 144-2
  • Standing In God's Holy Fire by John A. McGuckin, ISBN: 1-57075-382-2
  • Symeon The New Theologian, The Discourses, Classics of Western Spirituality, ISBN: 0-8091-2230-8
  • Symeon The New Theologian, The Practical and Theological Discourses and The Three Theological Chapters, Trans. by Dr. Paul McGuckin, Cistercian Publications Inc. 1982
  • The Acquisition of The Holy Spirit by I.M. Kontzevitch, ISBN: 0-938635-73-5
  • The Adam Complex by Dee Pennock, ISBN: 1-880971-89-5
  • The Ascetical Homilies of Saint Isaac The Syrian, Trans. by Holy Transfiguration Monastery, ISBN: 0-913026-55-7
  • The Authentic Seal by Archimandrite Aimilianos, ISBN: 960-85603-3-0
  • The Book of Mystical Chapters, Trans. and introduced by John A. McGuckin, ISBN: 1-59030-007-6
  • The Boundless Garden by Alexandros Papadiamantis Edited by Lambros Kamperidis and Denise Harvey, ISBN 978-960-7120-23-6
  • The Church Fathers ( Ante-Nicene, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, published by Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody Massachusetts, 37 vol. set
  • The Enlargement of The Heart by Archimandrite Zacharias Zacharou, ISBN 0-9774983-2-8
  • The Faith of Chosen People by St Nikolai Velimirovich, The Free Serbian Diocese of America and Canada, Grayslake, IL 1988
  • The Faith of The Saints , A Catechism by St. Nikolai Velimirovich, ISBN:1-932965-06-8
  • The Fifty Spiritual Homilies, Pseudo-Macarius, ISBN: 0-8091-0455-5
  • The Gurus, the Young Man, and Elder Paisios by Dionysios Farasiotis, ISBN: 978-1-887904-16-2
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  • The Hidden Man of The Heart by Archimandrite Zacharias Zacharou, ISBN 978-0-9800207-1-7
  • The Holy Bible NKJV, Thomas Nelson, 1992
  • The Homilies of Saint Gregory Palamas by Christopher Veniamin, 2 vols. ISBN: 1-878997-67-X; ISBN: 1-878997-68-X
  • The Ladder of Divine Ascent by St. John Climacus Edited by Holy Transfifuration Monastery 1979, ISBN 0-943405-03-3
  • The Life of St. Anthony by St. Athanasius the Great, Eastern Orthodox Books, Willits, CA
  • The Lives of The Holy Prophets by Holy Apostles Convent, ISBN: 0944359-12-4
  • The Living Witness of the Holy Mountain by Hieromonk Alexander Golitzin, ISBN: 1-878997-48-3
  • The Luminus Eye by Sebastian Brock, ISBN: 0-87907-524-4
  • The Mind of the Orthodox Church by Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos, Trans. by Esther Williams, ISBN: 960-7070-39-9
  • The One Thing Needful by Archbishop Andrei of Novo- Diveevo, ISBN: 91-2927-29-1
  • The Orthodox Ethos, Studies in Orthodoxy Edited by A.J. Philippou, Hollywell Press Oxford 1964
  • The Orthodox New Testament 2 vols., Published by The Holy Apostles Convent 1999, ISBN: 0-944359-17-5 & 0-944359-14-0
  • The Philokalia, The Complete Text compiled by St Nicodemos of the Holy Mountain and St Makarios of Corinth, Trans. by G.E.H. Palmer, Phillip Sherrard and Kallistos Ware Vol 4 ISBN: 0-571-11727-9
  • The Philokalia, The Complete Text compiled by St Nicodemos of the Holy Mountain and St Makarios of Corinth, Trans. by G.E.H. Palmer, Phillip Sherrard and Kallistos Ware Vol2 ISBN: 0-571-15466-2
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  • The Philokalia, The Complete Textcompiled by St Nicodemos of the Holy Mountain and St Makarios of Corinth, Trans. by G.E.H. Palmer, Phillip Sherrard and Kallistos Ware, Vol 1 ISBN: 0-571-13013-5
  • The Philokalia: Master Reference Guide Compiled by Basileios S. Stapakis, Trans by G.E.H. Palmer, Phillip Sherrard, Kallistos Ware, ISBN: 1-880971-87-9
  • The Prologue of Ohrid, Trans. by Fr. Timothy Tepsic, vol 1 ISBN: 978-0-9719505-0-4; vol 2 ISBN: 978-0-9719505-1-1
  • The Psalter Trans. by Holy Transfiguration Monastery, ISBN: 0-943405-00-9
  • The Spiritual World of St Isaac the Syrian by Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev, Cistercian Publications, Kalamazoo, Michigan 2000
  • The Way of A Pilgrim trans.by R.M. French, ISBN 345-24254-8-150
  • We Shall See Him As He Is by Archimandrite Sophrony Sakharov, ISBN 0-9512786-4-9
  • Wisdom. Let Us Attend: Job, The Fathers, and The Old Testament by Johanna Manley, ISBN: 0-9622536-4-2
  • Words of Life by Archimandrite Sophrony, Trans. by Sister Magdalen, ISBN1-874679-11-8
  • Writings from The Philokalia On Prayer of The Heart, Trans. by E. Kadloubovsky and G.E.H. Palmer, ISBN: 0-571-16393-9